Namaste – What does namaste mean

Namaste (pronounced: nah-mahs-tay). What does ‘namaste’ mean?

NamasteThis is a gesture of respect from one person to another and it occurs in all yoga classes, from kid’s yoga to beginner to the highly advanced. It represents the belief that in each of us there is a Divine spark located in the heart centre or the heart chakra. Bowing in namaste is an acknowledgment of the soul in one to the soul in another.

“Nama” means bow, “as” means I, and “te” means you. Therefore, translated directly the Sanskrit word literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.” A deeper meaning of namaste is “the divine in me respects the divine in in you.” In other words we are all equal.

To perform namaste, you place your hands together in prayer position at the heart centre, close your eyes, and bow your head. You can also place your hands together in front of the third eye between your brows, bowing your head, and then bringing your hands down to your heart. This is an especially deep form of respect. Although in the West the word “namaste” is usually spoken in conjunction with the gesture; in India, it is understood that the gesture itself signifies namaste, and therefore, it is unnecessary to say the word whilst bowing.

Bringing the hands together at the heart centre increases the flow of loving energy and compassion. Bowing your head and closing your eyes helps the mind to surrender to the divine soul that resides within the heart. You can also make this gesture as a meditation technique. When it’s done with someone else, it is also a beautiful meditation.

I honour the place in you
Where the entire
Universe resides
I honour the place in you
Of love, of light, of peace.
I honour the place within you where
If you are in that place in you
And I am in that place in me
There is only one of us.

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